HOUSTON – A man who served as an altar boy in the mid-1990s, came forward Thursday to accuse a Conroe priest of sexual assault, according to his attorney.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous for now, said through his attorney that he is the third person to accuse Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez of abuse.
According to a statement from the law firm Schiffer Hicks Johnson PLLC, the client was an altar boy "at a church in Houston when he was subjected to several acts of inappropriate behavior by Mr. La Rosa-Lopez, who was then a seminarian studying for the priesthood."
The firm said the man reported the abuse to his guardians at the time, who brought it to the attention of a supervising priest, "but no action was taken." La Rosa-Lopez was later ordained, according to the firm.
The man decided to come forward after hearing other reports of assault accusations from people against La Rosa-Lopez and has suffered many years from the abuse, the firm said.
Legal counsel for the man said that had the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston acted in a timely manner, other people may not have been victimized by La Rosa-Lopez.
The Montgomery County District Attorney's office said, "Investigators have spoken to this individual and it is under investigation at this time."
For this story, The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston referred KPRC2 to a statement issued last month that read:
"The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston takes these matters seriously, and is devoting its energies to cooperating with the civil authorities in their ongoing investigation. We are very early in a complicated process and are fully committed to addressing these issues. As we learn more and have an opportunity to assess what must and will be done going forward, we will be in a position to make public comments."
It later released an updated statement that said:
“The Archdiocese continues to cooperate fully with the civil authorities in their ongoing investigation.”